La Plata to consider reopening of gold mine |

La Plata to consider reopening of gold mine

HESPERUS ” La Plata County is considering a California company’s proposal to reopen a gold mine in a canyon north of Hesperus.

The commissioners are expected to consider the plan by Wildcat Mining Corp. in their meeting Tuesday. Wildcat first applied for the permit in 2006.

The company wants to reopen the Idaho Mine in La Plata Canyon west of Durango and mill ore from the adjacent Mayday mine, for which it has a permit.

Wildcat has said it will use the latest environmentally friendly techniques, but neighbors fear the operation will harm the character of the scenic area

The company says it won’t use cyanide, a toxic chemical used to recover gold from the ore. Plans call for waste ponds, but the company says they will be lined and there will be no discharge into the La Plata River.

High gold prices have spurred interest in reopening area mines. In July, Colorado Goldfields Inc. of Lakewood began exploratory drilling at the Gold King Mine outside Silverton.

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